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Bible Dictionaries

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary


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denotes our recovery from sin and death by the obedience and sacrifice of Christ, who, on this account, is called the Redeemer. "Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus," Romans 3:24 . "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us," Galatians 3:13 . "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace," Ephesians 1:7 . "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish, and without spot,"

1 Peter 1:18-19 . "And ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 .

By redemption, those who deny the atonement made by Christ wish to understand deliverance merely, regarding only the effect, and studiously putting out of sight the cause from which it flows. But the very terms used in the above cited passages, "to redeem," and "to be bought with a price," will each be found to refute this notion of a gratuitous deliverance, whether from sin or punishment, or both. Our English word, to redeem, literally means "to buy back;" and λυτροω , to redeem, and απολυτρωσις , redemption, are, both in Greek writers and in the New Testament, used for the act of setting free a captive, by paying λυτρον , a ransom or redemption price. But, as Grotius has fully shown, by reference to the use of the words both in sacred and profane writers, redemption signifies not merely "the liberation of captives," but deliverance from exile, death, and every other evil from which we may be freed; and λυτρον signifies every thing which satisfies another, so as to effect this deliverance. The nature of this redemption or purchased deliverance, (for it is not gratuitous liberation, as will presently appear,) is, therefore, to be ascertained by the circumstances of those who are the subjects of it. The subjects in the case before us are sinful men. They are under guilt, under "the curse of the law," the servants of sin, under the power and dominion of the devil, and "taken captive by him at his will," liable to the death of the body and to eternal punishment. To the whole of this case, the redemption, the purchased deliverance of man, as proclaimed in the Gospel, applies itself. Hence, in the above cited and other passages, it is said, "We have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins," in opposition to guilt; redemption from "the curse of the law;" deliverance from sin, that "we should be set free from sin;" deliverance from the power of Satan; from death, by a resurrection; and from future "wrath," by the gift of eternal life. Throughout the whole of this glorious doctrine of our redemption from these tremendous evils there is, however, in the New Testament, a constant reference to the λυτρον , the redemption price, which λυτρον is as constantly declared to be the death of Christ, which he endured in our stead, "The Son of man came to give his life a ransom for many," Matthew 20:28 . "Who gave himself a ransom for all," 1 Timothy 2:6 . "In whom we have redemption through his blood,"

Ephesians 1:7 . "Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ," 1 Peter 1:18-19 . That deliverance of man from sin, misery, and all other penal evils of his transgression, which constitutes our redemption by Christ, is not, therefore, a gratuitous deliverance, granted without a consideration, as an act of mere prerogative; the ransom, the redemption price, was exacted and paid; one thing was given for another, the precious blood of Christ for captive and condemned men. Of the same import are those passages which represent us as having been "bought," or "purchased" by Christ. St. Peter speaks of those "who denied the Lord τον αγορασαντα αυτους , that bought them;" and St. Paul, in the passage above cited, says, "Ye are bought with a price, ηγορασθητε ;" which price is expressly said by St.

John to be the blood of Christ: "Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God (ηγορασας , hast purchased us) by thy blood," Revelation 5:9 .

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Redemption'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. 1831-2.

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